Here’s the tease:
In February 2004, veteran actor Joel Vig fell and was injured during the opening number of a matinee performance of “Hairspray” on Broadway. The torn meniscus in his left knee required surgery after physical therapy couldn’t cure the problem. Following a standard three-month recuperation, Vig, who created six roles and understudied two leads in “Hairspray” and had never missed a performance, was not permitted to return.
The “Hairspray” producers did approve Vig’s medical leave. But they cite a clause in Actors’ Equity Association’s Production Contract stating that actors can ask for disability leave “only if at least nine weeks remain on their contract.” Vig counters that he was manipulated by the “Hairspray” team-specifically, at the behest of the general management-to pick a surgery date that fell within nine weeks of the end of his contract at that time.